Meg Lanning Stresses the Need for Greater Emphasis on Women’s Test Cricket

Meg Lanning, former Australian cricket captain, advocates for increased women’s Test matches to boost player skills and enhance the game’s quality.

Meg Lanning, the celebrated former captain of the Australian women’s cricket team and a multiple-time World Cup winner in white-ball cricket, has urged for an increase in Test matches in international women’s cricket. This plea comes as Australia prepares to engage in their first-ever Test match against South Africa at the WACA in Perth in mid-February.

While Australia, South Africa, England, and India have recently participated in women’s Test matches, New Zealand, West Indies, and Pakistan haven’t been part of the longer format since 2004. The upcoming Test against South Africa will be Australia’s third game in the longer format in the last 12 months, prompting Meg Lanning to emphasize the necessity for more Tests in women’s cricket.

“I like the multi-format series. Test matches are interesting. I think we need to play more of them to be able to play them well and get used to them. I think it’s difficult to prepare for a Test match. In my career, we were playing once every two years. It takes us two days to work out how to play it and then the Test is over,” says Meg.

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“I think if you want the games to be a good contest, the more matches you (need to) play and for players to understand their game a little bit more. I think we probably need to play more if that’s the case. I understand it’s difficult (for fixtures to be scheduled),” she adds.

Meg, who played just six Tests among her 241 appearances for Australia before retiring from international cricket last year, believes that players need more exposure to Test cricket to enhance their skills. The upcoming Test against South Africa is seen as a step in the right direction.

“It’s either more, or you don’t sort of go there at all because I think once every so often it’s really difficult as a player to play, and it’s probably not going to be the best product,” emphasizes Meg.

The right-handed batter, who also captained Australia to a Commonwealth Games gold medal at Birmingham in 2022, acknowledges the challenge but believes that if more teams like South Africa and India show interest, it could lead to an increase in the number of Tests in the calendar.

Meg, now focusing on domestic cricket with Victoria in WNCL, Melbourne Stars in the WBBL, and Delhi Capitals in WPL 2024 starting on February 23, admits that her international retirement hasn’t fully sunk in yet.

“Until I probably stop completely, it probably won’t sink in. It’s been a different last couple of months, a little bit more time and a little bit more quiet to spend with friends and family and sort of take stock a little bit. I’ve enjoyed that.”

IANS